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Author Topic: Does anything still use analog?  (Read 8345 times)

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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Does anything still use analog?
« on: 07/12/2011 04:10:36 »
So I have an old Casio keyboard and was thinking about dusting it off and using it when I noted that there is a plug in labeled "phonics/output." The port is quite large (~.5 cm diameter -circular), and I was wondering if this is an analog connection. If so, does anything use analog anymore? I thought it was a "step lower" than digital.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #1 on: 07/12/2011 05:11:24 »
You can find adapters for almost any kind of audio plug. 

Does the plug look like the mini plugs, only bigger?  or, is it a standard audio cable, with a large pin in the middle, and some kind of a shielding connector outside?

The connection from a microphone to a device, or the device to the speaker would all be essentially the same for the last 50 years, and essentially analog.  With the right adapters, you should be able to plug your latest I-Pod into a 50 yr old amplifier & speakers.

The digital would just be the encoding/decoding of the music within the device.

The Radio signal is still analog isn't it, although I forgot the difference between AM and FM
 

Offline RD

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #2 on: 07/12/2011 05:12:23 »
Analog to digital converters do (clue in the title :¬) ... http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Control-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000J0IIEQ
 

Offline Geezer

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #3 on: 07/12/2011 06:15:17 »
Lots of things are still analog. It's even possible to use some digital logic elements as analog amplifiers if you strap on some additional components.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #4 on: 07/12/2011 07:05:12 »
I have yet to see a digital  microphone or digital loudspeaker. Even most digital camera images start off analogue. Almost any interface with the real world is analogue.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #5 on: 07/12/2011 09:04:32 »
Even most digital camera images start off analogue.

Isn't a CCD digital,
In contrast, I would assume the old PAL and NTSC types of TV were at least in part analog.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #6 on: 07/12/2011 19:13:07 »
"Isn't a CCD digital,"
Oddly, no. That's why I said it was analogue.
Of course, at the level of electrons transferring one at a time all electronics is "digital" but that's a rather odd interpretation.
 

Offline SeanB

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #7 on: 07/12/2011 20:03:52 »
Even your "digital" computer is very much analogue, the transistor switches inside are definitely analogue devices, though they do only get operated in one of 2 states, with a minimum of time spent transitioning between them. The design is very dependent on analogue design toold to get them to function.
 

Offline techmind

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #8 on: 07/12/2011 21:54:25 »
Of course CCD/CMOS imaging chips, and microphones are inherently analog internally - although you might only ever get digital data out of the pins/terminals. (The microphones in many mobile phones these days have a digital output directly from the silicon micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) microphone module).

One thing that was digital and has been getting more analog in recent years is Flash memory (USB memory sticks, camera/phone memory-cards etc): normally in digital memory you store each 'bit' as a digital presence or absence of charge on some kind of capacitor or transistor circuit. In the newer Flash memory they're introducing "multi-level cell" (MLC) where pairs of bits are stored as one of 4 analog levels of charge, or even a triplet are stored as one of 8 analog-like charge-levels. This approach allows you to store 2x or 3x as much data in muchthe same amount of physical memory circuitry - although the readout in particular has to be more 'sensitive' - and because there's less tolerance of charge leakage etc, the read/write tends to be slower and lifetime or write-cycle-life of MLC memory tends to be rather lower than the older Single Level Cell technology.

 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #9 on: 07/12/2011 23:19:40 »
Interesting about the Flash.

I could imagine a future where images will actually be stored as analog data, although you would have to compete between compressed digital formats vs uncompressed analog formats.
 

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #10 on: 08/12/2011 02:45:48 »
It's like the female end of the mini plugs, only bigger. It's a Casio CTK-515 which must be from the early 90's or before; either way, production was stopped a while ago.

Dang, I had no idea so many things still used analog.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #11 on: 08/12/2011 04:12:22 »
Oh...
That kind of keyboard.
When you discuss a keyboard under Geek Speak...  some of us think of a different type of keyboard!!!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MDJU06

http://www.amazon.com/ARISTA-16-098-6-3mm-Headphone-Adapter/dp/B00009V6QB

http://www.amazon.com/ARISTA-16-097-3-5mm-Headphone-Adapter/dp/B00009UVPN

I'm seeing the big plugs are called 6.3mm or 1/4".
The small plugs are called 3.5mm or 1/8", or mini Stereo.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #12 on: 08/12/2011 04:50:00 »
In olden times we called them "jack plugs". The 1/4" variety started off on manual telephone switchboards.
 

Offline RD

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #13 on: 08/12/2011 05:31:46 »
... plug in labeled "phonics/output." The port is quite large (~.5 cm diameter -circular)

Maybe a phono socket for "line out" (analog) signal.

 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #14 on: 08/12/2011 06:47:23 »
It's like the female end of the mini plugs, only bigger.
 

Offline RD

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #15 on: 08/12/2011 14:08:05 »
It's like the female end of the mini plugs, only bigger.

There are various "mini" plugs, (e.g. mini DIN, mini USB), and even midi plugs.

But I take your point: it's probably a socket for a 6.35mm jack plug.

Using the ADC gadget I mentioned above it would be possible to record the output of the Casio keyboard to a computer via the computer's USB connector.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity
« Last Edit: 08/12/2011 14:17:27 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #16 on: 08/12/2011 22:42:45 »
With simple adapters, you could also plug it into your computer's microphone port which I believe is still supported on most "new" computers except some specialized hand-held devices.

As well as plugging it into a wide range of audio devices.   

It is nice that there are fewer audio type plugs than power plugs.  And, with some good designs, mono & stereo adapters are often compatible.  But, over the years, there certainly are a few different types.

Now, if engineers (or our governments) could just get around to standardizing low voltage and DC plugs.
 

Offline techmind

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #17 on: 08/12/2011 23:35:30 »
Now, if engineers (or our governments) could just get around to standardizing low voltage and DC plugs.
It's shocking that we couldn't even manage to standardise polarity!  ;D

Apparently there is an industry move to standardise on a mini-USB plug for charging mobile-phones in future. Although I read that Apple has been non-standard and requires a different resistor configuration to the rest of the planet on the two 'data' lines from the charger to enable charging ...
 

Offline Geezer

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #18 on: 08/12/2011 23:39:49 »
Although I read that Apple has been non-standard and requires a different resistor configuration to the rest of the planet on the two 'data' lines from the charger to enable charging ...

I'm shocked! I can't believe Apple would ever create a proprietary "standard".
 

Offline CliffordK

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #19 on: 09/12/2011 00:15:52 »
Apparently there is an industry move to standardise on a mini-USB plug for charging mobile-phones in future.

Now, if they would only get around to standardizing the mini-USB plugs in the process!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Physical_appearance




Plus, a number of other "proprietary" connectors that also include USB.

Of course, having the A/B end of the same cable is ok, at least in theory, although one could have simply just used Male/Female wires like the old serial standard (which also had 9&25 pin variants).
 

Offline RD

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #20 on: 09/12/2011 02:21:52 »
... you could also plug it into your computer's microphone port

Unless the computer microphone socket can be toggled to line-in (mine can  [^] ),
putting a headphone or line-out signal into it will produce a distorted sound as their voltage is hundreds of times that produced by a microphone, (also the frequency response will be distorted to because of lack of impedance matching).
« Last Edit: 09/12/2011 02:24:30 by RD »
 

Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #21 on: 09/12/2011 15:24:21 »
""
I don't know if this helps or changes anything.
Sorry about the bad quality.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #22 on: 09/12/2011 19:22:22 »
Looks like a 1/4 inch headphone jack. What does the writing say?
 

Offline RD

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #23 on: 09/12/2011 19:28:59 »
labeled "phonics/output."

Could it just be "phones/output", i.e. for headphones which have a 6.35mm (1/4") jackplug ?



« Last Edit: 09/12/2011 19:36:35 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #24 on: 10/12/2011 09:14:52 »
IT'S A ######### 1/4 INCH JACK PLUG SOCKET!

(Sorry, I got a teensy bit carried away there.)
 

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Does anything still use analog?
« Reply #24 on: 10/12/2011 09:14:52 »

 

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